I'm thinking about getting into scanners and have been looking around here as well as elseware. I'm interested in scanning for both detecting traffic enforcement as well as for monitoring local fire and police. I won't really have the time or budget to get more than one scanner, so hopefully I get an entry level scanner that will double as a portable, as well as base station. I've been reading for while and have a few questions that I couldn't nail down.
1) How can I find out what type of system the local police and fire are using. I've found numerous books for sale. Do I really need to buy a book just to figure which scanner to buy. I also looked around on the FCC web site, but couldn't sort out the results.
2) For the handheld units, what kind of reception will they get indoors with the rubber duck attenna? I live at the top of a hill, not so far from a number of broadcast towers, not sure if the local fire/police are using these. Is there way to tell where the broadcast towers are? I'm assuming for trucked systems you just have to pick up the towers, and not the vehicles, correct?
3) Is there any way to tell if my local fire or police have plans to upgrade to digital (assuming they aren't there already)? I saw another post about checking the FCC web site for license applications. I tried searching but don't have any success.
4) I've seen alot of comments about complexity of programing. However a number of scanners can be hooked up to your pc for downloading the frequency. I'm pretty PC savy. Its easy to obtain and install the downloadable frequencies.
Thanks in advance!